“I have choreographed the performance, or rather, I have strengthened Junior’s direction with movement. The work I do is always based in the social and political spheres, so I feel very much at home in this production. I also feel connected to Winnie Mandela; she is a woman, just like me, and she is South African, just like my mother. My family belonged to the group of ‘Zulus who left;’ they exiled themselves to Malawi and Zimbabwe, where I was born. I grew up in Brussels and have a Belgian father. I call myself “Afropean”: in Africa they consider me European, and in Europe I am African. Actually, I am both, in both worlds. This is a beautiful hybridity which I embrace.
It is good to put the black woman in the foreground for once; she doesn’t often have this position. This piece isn’t purely about Winnie. We attempt to embody her stories through the medium of our own experiences. Dear Winnie is about current life, injustice, power, despair, vulnerability, and resilience. The most affected souls can see themselves in this performance and be touched by it.”